Mindhole Blowers: 20 Facts You Might Not Know About Stephen Colbert, the Next Host of 'The Late Show'

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Mindhole Blowers: 20 Facts You Might Not Know About Stephen Colbert, the Next Host of 'The Late Show'

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | April 14, 2014 | Comments ()

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1. On September 11th, 1974, Eastern Airlines Flight 212 crashed three and a half miles from the runway in South Carolina, killing Stephen Colbert’s father and two of his eleven siblings. The pilots had been engaged in off-topic discussion (about the “A-rabs” taking over our country). The impertinent conversation the pilots were engaged in before the crash actually led to a new FAA rule, the Sterile Cockpit Rule, which prohibits pilots from engaging in non-essential activities during critical phases of flight.

2. The death of his father and two brothers led Stephen Colbert to a kind of social isolation, where he discovered Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings, of which he has an encyclopedic knowledge. In fact, he knows his Tolkien so well that, on a visit to the set of The Hobbit, he threw down in a trivia contest with the movie’s Tolkien expert, and won!

3. Colbert changed the pronunciation of his last name (from a hard T to a silent T) after a conversation with an astronaut on a flight to Northwestern, a college he transferred to after attending an all-male college for two years.

4. Colbert did not immediately have aspirations to be a comedic actor. He grew a beard in college, and intended on being a serious actor. His friend and collaborator Amy Sedaris called him “insufferable” during this period. It was Sedaris who helped to convince him to join Second City, although it would still be a couple more years before he gave up aspirations of being a serious actor.

5. In his pre-Daily Show days, Stephen Colbert was briefly a correspondent on Good Morning America.

6. Colbert was also a writer — along with Louis C.K., Steve Carell, Charlie Kaufman, Bob Odenkirk, and Greg Daniels — on The Dana Carvey Show.

7. Stephen Colbert once described the difference between himself and the character he plays on The Colbert Report as such: “I wouldn’t want to be that asshole. He’s got a tremendous ego. I get to pretend I don’t.”

8. For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a rare and enlightening look at Stephen Colbert — out of character — talking with John Kerry about how his appearance is going to go down on The Colbert Report.

9. Stephen Colbert really does teach Sunday school, and is very Catholic. At one point had this quote on his computer: “Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.” In fact, he won’t do jokes about the sacrament.

10. Many years ago, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert performed the National Anthem together in two part harmony, and it was OUTSTANDING.

11. Speaking of Carell and Colbert, the two good friends were also the voices of Ace and Gary on Saturday Night Live’s “Ambiguously Gay Duo.”

13. Before landing The Colbert Report, Colbert was the longest running correspondent on The Daily Show, preceding even Jon Stewart, as Colbert had been on during the Kilborn years. At 3:40.

14. Stephen Colbert is completely deaf in one ear. In fact, because of an operation he had as a child, Colbert can fold his ear inside out and pop it out when he squints.

15. Not only did Stephen Colbert have a cameo in The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug, but so did his entire family, including his lovely wife Evelyn McGee.

16. While doing genealogy research, Stephen Colbert discovered that it was the ancestors of his wife who were responsible for chasing the ancestors of Colbert off their land in Ireland. Colbert actually grew up two blocks away from his wife, but didn’t meet her until they were in their 20s, though they apparently went to the same summer camp. His wife, by the by, doesn’t really care for Stephen Colbert’s character.

17. Before he was “Stephen Colbert,” Colbert was in a commercial for First Tier Bank.

Back in the day, he was also in an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and he was outstanding.

18. Two years ago, Stephen Colbert described Windsor, Ontario as the “earth’s rectum.” A Canadian poll asked if the description was good for the city, and 86 percent said yes!

19. So as to avoid Southern stereotypes, as a child Stephen Colbert repressed his Southern accent, learning to speak without one by imitating news anchors.

20. The lone strike against him (debatable) is that once Stephen Colbert — who had voiced a character on The Venture Brothers — declined to return for a second season, having his assistant email the producers of the show to say, “Stephen has neither the time nor the interest in participating in your project.”

Sources: Vanity Fair, IMDB, YouTube, Oprah.com, NPR, CBC, NZHerald, AV Club.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • wsapnin

    My favorite is the Stephen Colbert/Jack White Catholic Showdown.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9zeYy...

  • BlackRabbit

    I'm 99% straight, but beardy Colbert...I dunno, there's something there.

  • e jerry powell

    It's called DISCO GEEK HOTNESS.

  • MauraFoley

    He won't do jokes about the sacraments*. There are more than one.

  • e jerry powell

    Bearded Colbert: I'd hit that.

    "So as to avoid Southern stereotypes, as a child Stephen Colbert repressed his Southern accent, learning to speak without one by imitating news anchors.
    Fortunately for me, my mother was born in western New York state and raised in Indiana. I didn't spend much time around my dad as I was forming verbal skills, so he sounds as Southern as he is, and most people would never know that I was born in the Deep South.

  • manting

    number 20 always bugged me because I loved his mr incredible. Venture Brothers is genius television and to leave in that manner is horrendous.

  • Rocabarra

    Let's not forget that Oshawa, Ontario also celebrates Stephen Colbert Day!

  • BWeaves

    Young, hot, bearded Colbert reminds me of someone.

    Help me out, please?

    He looks like someone else famous, and I can't put my finger on who.

  • manting

    Mitch from Real Genius. Nailed it!

  • Steve

    The First Sword of Braavos?

  • luthien26

    Syrio "Bob Ross" Forel? :)

  • BWeaves

    hahahahah, no.

  • Linda Lupos

    He reminds me of Hugh Dancy as Will Graham in Hannibal...

  • e jerry powell

    I prefer gay Hugh Dancy chasing bears in "The Big C."

  • BWeaves

    YES, that's it.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Is it...BRIAN BLESSED!?

  • BWeaves

    No, what are you smoking?

  • e jerry powell

    Maybe around the eyes a little...

  • Bert_McGurt

    All of these old photos of Colbert in his round glasses and floppy hair make me think that if they absolutely, positively MUST reboot or further besequel Ghostbusters, Stephen is the only suitable substitute for Harold Ramis.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Ontario is a province in Canada. For the life of me I can't recall which city in Ontario he produced that description for but I do know it was accurate. I want to say Windsor.

  • Steve

    Yes. Calling Ontario a city is like calling Montana a city.

  • Sars

    Im going to go with Orangevill

  • Bert_McGurt

    The link says you're correct. Point of fact - there is no "South Detroit", per Steve Perry and his Journey bretheren. South of Detroit is Windsor, ON.

  • TacoBellRey

    No South Detroit? My whole life has been a LIE!

  • Bert_McGurt

    I hate to break it to you further, but that "midnight train"? It left at 11:48 and was headed to Saginaw.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Finally a post I can click on without fear of spoilers.

    This actually is a nice list of things that I mostly didn't know about Colbert. I'm curious if you mean he won't make fun of the sacrament of the Eucharist,or if he won't make fun of any of the sacraments (I'm guessing the former). I do love the public way Colbert deals with his Catholicism - not hesitant to question or mock when needed, but it comes from a true & sincere place. It's rare to see. I have a hard time thinking of any other entertainer (or public figure) who deals with his or her faith in as generous a way.

    And I would not have recognized that college age pic of Colbert.

  • Professor Impossible is a d-bag, so the response about the Ventures is totally in character

  • BendinIntheWind

    21: Beardy college-aged Colbert was a stone-cold FOX!

    God I love that photo. My lions.

  • That's not him. Notice the neck moles are gone, and that is just clearly not the same person.

  • Tracer Bullet

    Stone-cold fox or vicious psycho-killer. It's a thin line.

  • AvaLehra

    That picture, and this one, always get me all swoony.

  • chanohack

    Is his arm bandaged?


  • Sara_Tonin00

    It might be from when he broke his wrist on the show. Maybe 3 years ago?

  • llp

    HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. I would like that picture on the inside of my eyelids.

    You all know I have deep feelings for Stephen Colbert. I don't watch Venture Brothers, so I don't even care about #20.

  • Kala

    Agreed. Had no idea beardy Colbert could be that delicious.

  • chanohack

    He's still a babe.

  • luthien26

    It's the eyes. He has beautiful eyes.

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